ANYONE who thinks UK politics is a 24/7 business should visit Westminster on a Friday afternoon. You are more likely to be abducted by aliens than find the machinery of government working flat out.

There are exceptions, among them the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland, which thinks nothing of working into the evening.

The pressing task last Friday was throwing a spanner in the works of the Scottish Government’s deposit return scheme, as overseen by Green Minister Lorna Slater.

The UK Government had been hinting that the Scottish scheme would only be given the go-ahead if glass was excluded. PET plastic bottles and aluminium and steel cans fine, glass no.

Come Friday afternoon the media were being briefed to that effect. Yet it was still all quiet on the official Westminster-Edinburgh front. Later that night the UK Government finally got around to telling Ms Slater.

First Minister Humza Yousaf called London’s behaviour “a democratic outrage” that undermined the Scottish Parliament.

The war of words between London and Edinburgh could have continued on BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show, but no-one from the UK Government was available/could be bothered appearing. Friday nights are all right for fighting it would seem, but Sunday is a day for giving constitutional argy-bargy a rest.

With the UK Government absent from the fray, it fell to the show’s presenter, Martin Geissler, to be devil’s advocate.

Ms Slater accused the UK Government of interfering with democracy in Scotland and creating continuing uncertainty for business.

“You’re not entirely blameless in creating uncertainty for business yourselves,” said Geissler. “You’ve changed this scheme since you passed the bill because you hadn’t listened to business in the past. Now you’ve been forced to do that, so there’s uncertainty all over the place here.”

The UK Government had done a U-turn on including glass, said Ms Slater.

Geissler said it would look to a lot of viewers that on this, and other subjects, the Scottish Government was “absolutely determined” to create points of distinction on everything it did.

At the same time, Westminster had developed a taste for denying Edinburgh the opportunity to be different.

“Most of the country,” said Geissler, “is sitting in the middle just sick of all this chaos, thinking why can’t you just work together and make things happen?”

Ah, that question for the ages. You could work eight days a week on that one and still not get an answer.

Elsewhere, the Sunday politics shows somehow found time to cover the week’s most important story – Holly and Phil. I don’t know why a row between two highly paid television presenters should have led bulletins all week, including on the BBC, but there we are.

Come Sunday, everyone at least had the cover of being concerned about what the goings-on might do to the ITV share price when markets opened.

On Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, the former BBC political editor consulted Nadine Dorries on the great Holly and Phil debate.

Ms Dorries was doubly qualified to opine given she used to be the Culture Secretary, and she is now a TV presenter in her own right on TalkTV’s Friday Night with Nadine.

Kuenssberg asked about Ms Dorries’ experience of being on the This Morning sofa with Phillip Schofield.

It was “never easy” to be interviewed, said the MP, but she had found him “quite bullying” in his attitude towards the co-host who was standing in for Holly Willoughby at the time.

“That made me feel more uncomfortable than answering the questions. When the camera was on me and I was talking he started aggressively jabbing at the script and the pages were rattling. The co-presenter looked terrified.”

It was impossible to interview Ms Dorries without asking about her old boss and chum, Boris Johnson, whose activities during lockdown were referred again to police this week. His allies have cried “stitch up” but wasn’t that just spin and nonsense?

“Oh come on Laura,” said the MP. Any notion that new information just happened to emerge as the Commons Privileges Committee was about to announce their findings was “for the birds”.

As for speculation that Ms Dorries was in line for a peerage courtesy of Mr Johnson, she said: “I don’t expect anything in this life, Laura. I’ll just take whatever comes my way.”

Whether that future includes a presenter’s perch on a revamped This Morning, or even a show with Kuenssberg – imagine –who can say?